It's no secret that staff turnover in nonprofits can be high, especially in development departments. The Association of Fundraising Professionals' annual compensation study reports it and I see this reg
ularly when Project Partners is called upon to pick up where a former staff member left off on a
community engagement initiative.
Turnover is sometimes simply a result of staff moving out of town or to greener pastures within our profession. Too often, though, they leave this work altogether, after lackluster performance, ongoing pressures for better performance, and a resulting negative attitude toward the job at hand. Staff members in this field can feel isolated, over-worked, unprepared for success, and usually have little guidance on how volunteers can make the job much more effective and fun.
You can't do much about staff that move out of town or to greener pastures, but you can positively affect your current team's success by providing a friendly, professional guiding hand and comprehensive on-the-job training. When coached or supplemented by experts in the field, staff achievement can increase exponentially, resulting in a reduction in turnover, saving time, money, and trouble. Perhaps most importantly, your cause can be advanced and your mission fulfilled with less disruption.
When a seasoned development director resigned from a North Texas organization, Project Partners stepped in to advise, coach, and direct the less-experienced associate left with a mission-critical fundraising project to complete. We coached her on strategy, implementation, and communications to donors and volunteers, and saw the project through with her to the end.
The associate obtained fast-track on-the-job training in real time and could see the direct results of her efforts. The Executive Director and Board were elated to see that their staff member could do the job, given the right tools, and the organization was thrilled because the project broke all previous fundraising records.
Call on us to help.
Your partner for good,
Lerii F. Smith, CFRE
President, Project Partners, Inc.
Thanks again to VoyageDallas for this fun feature article.